Innovative Program Grant


 Request for Proposals  


 Context and Need  Funding and Administration   Timeline   Local College Access Networks 
 Contact and Application Assistance   Award Decisions   About  Apply


Context and Need

Michigan College Access Network recognizes the great work of college access programs across the state to move Michigan closer to our goal of Sixty by 30  – to increase the percentage of Michigan residents with degrees or postsecondary certificates to 60 percent by the year 2030. While MCAN’s primary strategy to achieving Sixty by 30 remains the development and support of Local College Access Networks, MCAN will now also provide grant funding to direct service programs for innovative work in support of this goal.

Funding and Administration 

Innovative Program Grants will fund programming that increases college readiness, enrollment and completion in local communities and across the state through grants of up to $10,000. Grants require 50 percent match funding, of which 50 percent can be in-kind and at least 50 percent must be cash. For example, if an applicant requests $10,000, match funds of at least $5,000 must be provided. Of that $5,000, $2,500 may be matched by in-kind support. Innovative Program Grants are not intended to be renewable or long-term funding for a program. MCAN staff will work with grantees to help design sustainability plans for programming if desired.

College Advising 

Some communities have chosen to hire college advisers for their schools/students outside of the three major corps in the state (UM/MSU/AdviseMI.) MCAN fully encourages and supports those communities able to do so by providing training and sometimes financial investment. This grant application also serves as the vehicle for communities to request support for college advising services. Schools looking to choose the “buy-out” option as part of AdviseMI should also use this grant application to request funds.  Please tailor your answers to the grant questions appropriately. These schools only are approved to apply for $15,000 for this purpose for their first year. If you have any questions, please contact MCAN. Innovative Program Grants will not be provided to subsidize the cost share requirements of schools that are part of the Michigan College Advising Corps, the Michigan State University College Advising Corps or the AdviseMI Program.


Innovative Program Grants will be available on a rolling basis until allocated funding is depleted within the fiscal year, which begins October 1 annually. Please contact MCAN when considering an application for confirmation that funding is still available. No grants will be awarded between September 1 and September 30. Grants received during that time will be considered for funding after October 1. 

Grant applications should be submitted with an expected implementation of no more than 12 months from award date. No-cost extensions may be considered on a case-by-case basis upon request of a grantee.

Local College Access Networks  

Preference will be given for applicants or programs that are connected to a Local College Access Network as a comprehensive approach to increasing postsecondary attainment within a community. This includes the work of action teams, network members, individual schools, etc. that operate within an LCAN. Other organizations and programs are also eligible to apply.  

This funding is not meant as a means of supporting network development. Please see MCAN’s LCAN-specific grant programs for that purpose.

Contact and Application Assistance

You are encouraged to contact MCAN to inquire about eligibility and to request technical assistance. Please contact Jess Soja at jessica(a), or 517-316-1713 for assistance with your application or for help with the online application portal.

Award Decisions

MCAN staff will review proposals and provide written feedback. Final decisions regarding awards will be contingent upon the recommendations of the staff and available funds. MCAN is committed to reviewing grants and providing a response to applicants in 90 days or less. Please adjust your application schedule to accommodate this review timetable.

Example Awardees

El Centro Hispano de Oceana (The Oceana Hispanic Center) –

El Centro Hispano de Oceana’s funded program consists of two parts: 1) intensive coordination with educational outreach personnel by providing materials specific to the needs of the Hispanic population (one example being translation of existing college access materials), and 2) contracting with existing school-based Migrant Outreach Workers to expand their services to include a focus on the value of a postsecondary education, leveraging existing relationships.

 Grand Valley State University –

This Innovative Program Grant helped fund the creation of a graduate assistantship placing a GVSU graduate student in a local high school to work alongside school counselors, teachers, and administrators to help students navigate the college-going process, improve postsecondary enrollment rates, and continue building a college-going culture in the school building. This program replicates the successful components of current MCAN sponsored college advising programs while leveraging local capacity and resources.

 Washtenaw Futures –

The Community Scholars Program is a new partnership of the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, Washtenaw Futures LCAN, and local two and four year higher education institutions. This program not only offers scholarships to first generation college-going, low income, and/or minority students within Washtenaw County, but it pairs the scholarship with a Success Coach who provides academic and personal support for recipients. These Success Coaches maintain relationships with students regardless of the institution they attend, helping ensure they maintain their academic progress and financial aid eligibility and helping recipients find and navigate on-campus supports and resources. For more information, click here

 West Michigan College of Art and Technology –

This Innovative Program Grant is supporting the expansion of the West Michigan College of Art and Technology’s Prep Year and Step Year programs. Prep Year engages local high school students with one-on-one college planning, family workshops, on-site admissions and financial aid counselors, and campus visits. The Step Year program combines work experience with classes at Grand Rapids Community College while apprentices receive support services, career exploration experiences, and skills development programs. For more information, click here


About Michigan College Access Network  

MCAN’s mission is to increase college readiness, participation and completion rates in Michigan, particularly among low-income students, first-generation college going students, and students of color. In order to build and sustain a vibrant economy and strong communities based on a highly educated population, MCAN works to ensure everyone in Michigan has the opportunity to access and succeed in postsecondary education. MCAN’s goal is to increase the percentage of Michigan residents with high-quality degrees or credentials to 60 percent by the year 2030. At its core, MCAN believes:

College is Postsecondary EducationMCAN uses the term "college" to refer to the attainment of valuable credentials beyond high school, defined as postsecondary certificates and academic degrees.

College is a Necessity: Postsecondary education is a prerequisite to success in a knowledge-based economy. Everyone must pursue and complete a postsecondary credential or degree beyond high school.

College is for Everyone: The postsecondary education attainment rates among low-income students and students of color are significantly lower than those of other students. MCAN is committed to closing these gaps.

College is a Public Good: Postsecondary educational opportunity and attainment are critical to a just and equitable society, strong economy, and healthy communities.

Applying For Grant Funding

Proposals are only accepted using Michigan College Access Network’s online grants system, Fluid Review. To apply to for an Innovative Program Grant, visit, or select the "Apply Now" button below.

If you have an existing account, you can sign in and click “Create New Submission.” Select “Innovative Program Application” from the drop-down menu and complete the grant application. If you don’t have an existing account, click “Sign Up” and provide your registration information, selecting “Innovative Program Grant Application” from the drop-down. Then complete the grant application.  

If you would like to review the online application components, you are welcome to review this Word document version. You cannot submit the application using this Word document. This is only for review purposes.




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